Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Social Enterprise and Self Esteem

Excuse a somewhat curmudgeonly post. It has been sitting in my "drafts" for some time. Time to hit publish or delete...

It occurs to me that the social enterprise field (#socent for all you who are changing the world by tweeting about it) suffers from a surfeit of self esteem. I am fine with passion and enthusiasm, but I also like to see some healthy debate and critique. Even the self esteem movement recognizes this.

Sure it is important to celebrate success. But too often, this field seems to crown celebrities long before success shows up.  Too often praise gets in the way of the real hard work. Let's not celebrate what's new, but what's working.

A few suggestions:

1) You don't come first. The customer/user does. I don't care what conferences you spoke at or attended. Neither do your potential customers.

2) It isn't about "helping" others, it is about working with others to fix something that sucks.

3) Entrepreneur is an attitude. I don't introduce myself as an "American Entrepreneur." Why do you call your partner an "African Entrepreneur"? (or "microentrepreneur"). Have you asked her what she'd like you to call her?

4) Keep an eye out for how often you use the word "they."

That's probably enough for now.

Post a Comment